Life, to me, is a series of false limits and my challenge as an athlete is to explore those limits on a bike.
You know when I need to die? When I'm done living. When I can't walk, can't eat, can't see, when I'm a crotchety old bastard, mad at the world. Then I can die.
A life spent defensively, worried, is a life wasted.
Anything is possible. You can be told you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight. By fight I mean arm yourself with all the available information, get second opinions, third opinions, and fourth opinions. Understand what has invaded your body, and what the possible cures are. It's another fact of cancer that the more informed and empowered patient has a better chance of long-term survival. What if I had lost? What if I relapsed and the cancer came back? I still believe I would have gained something in the struggle, because in what time I had left I would have been a more complete, compassionate, and intelligent man, and therefore more alive.
I want to die at a hundred years old with an American flag on my back and the star of Texas on my helmet, after screaming down an Alpine descent on a bicycle at 75 miles per hour. I want to cross one last finish line as my wife and my ten children applaud, and then I want to lie down in a field of those famous French sunflowers and gracefully expire, the perfect contradiction to my once anticipated poignant early demise.
One of the redeeming things about being an athlete is redefining what is humanly possible.
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it. Study it. Tweak it. Listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?
If there was a god, I'd still have both nuts.
Every year the media comes up with something to describe my race The first year it was "the comeback." Then it was the "the confirmation." I don't know what it was last year. This year, for me, it's "the year of the team." I can't say how I compare to the rider I was in 1999 or 2000 or 2001, but this team is much stronger than it has ever been. It has made it easier for me.
I want to finish by saying that I intend to be an avid spokesperson for testicular cancer once I have beaten the disease... I want this to be a positive experience and I want to take this opportunity to help others who might someday suffer from the same circumstance I face today.